Black Fathers Say They Get a Bad Rap
The Root's Father's Day survey finds that African-American dads are positive about their kids but blame the media -- and themselves -- for how they're perceived.
When it comes to their children's future success, African-American men tend to be optimists. This was among the findings of an online survey conducted the week of June 13 by The Root. The survey included the responses of 292 people who identified themselves as African-American men (245 of whom are fathers), most (87 percent) of them born between 1946 and 1981.
Despite a flagging economy that has hit the black community especially hard and that shows few signs of letting up anytime soon, 84 percent of the black men surveyed said they expect their children's future success to be better than their own. Only 5 percent expected their children to fare worse, with the rest saying their children's success would be about the same as their own.
That optimism might have been influenced by the fact that those responding to the survey tended to be better educated than the average African-American man (61 percent had a college degree or better, versus 20 percent for the general population). However, even educated blacks are being hit harder by unemployment than their white counterparts, suggesting that respondents' sunny outlook for their children will be put to the test.
The black men who responded had a similarly optimistic outlook on the amount of racism their children will face, despite nearly all of them -- 96 percent -- saying they had personally experienced racism. Fifty-five percent expect their children to experience less racism, and 34 percent say they'll experience about the same amount, with the rest expecting things to be worse for their children.